Tribute to Quorthon (1966-2004)
All interviews conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: June 7, 2014
No one can underestimate Bathory's influence on the world of extreme Metal...no one. If the UK's Venom is (arguably) ground zero for the Black Metal movement it's definitely Quorthon, and his creation Bathory, that started the sub-genre of Viking Metal with groundbreaking albums such as Blood Fire Death, Hammerheart, Twilight of the Gods and Blood on Ice. His influence on many Metal acts is undisputed.
However, as history has shown many times, at some point, every saga comes to an end. Sadly, this one ended sooner and more unexpectedly than any of us would have thought when Quorthon (aka Thomas Börje Forsberg) was found in his apartment after passing on due to heart failure. He was only 38 years old when he crossed the Rainbow Bridge into Valhalla.
The Metal Crypt is honoring Quorthon's memory by asking many of the musicians he influenced over the years for their thoughts and memories of this great Heavy Metal pioneer.
The Metal Crypt sincerely thanks everyone who participated in this tribute and suggests all readers crank up some Bathory on this special, yet sad, day June 7th, 2014 (the day his death was announced to the world, he likely passed several days prior). Bathory's music will live forever. Hail the hordes - hail Quorthon and his mighty Bathory!
Luxi: What role did Quorthon and Bathory play in your life when you wanted to become a musician?
Chuck Keller (ARES KINGDOM): I was already working seriously in Order From Chaos when he and I connected. As a result of my being in a band, we were able to trade experiences, secrets, and critique one another's work from a musician's point of view. I remember, in those days, we had a funny habit of subconsciously stealing one another's ideas. I'll never forget when I sent him our Crushed Infamy demo in late summer 1989; he gave me hell for my song "Blood and Thunder" because he had been working on a song with that same title. Later, he altered his title a bit and the song appeared as "Through Blood by Thunder" on Twilight of the Gods. We were both classical music freaks, and, as he was working on Twilight of the Gods, he mentioned that he was working up a variation on a theme by Gustav Holst from The Planets. Now it was my turn to go into a fizz because at the time I happened to be working up a variation on Holst's "Mars: Bringer of War", also from The Planets, that would appear on OFC's An Ending in Fire album as part of our "Conqueror of Fear" suite. Knowing his version would come out first, he had his playful revenge on me by refusing to say which part of The Planets he was reworking. Imagine my relief when he finally sent me the album and I heard Hammerheart with its unique arrangement of "Jupiter: Bringer of Joviality". Cheeky bugger.
Nuclear Holocausto (BEHERIT): I had not heard of Bathory when I got my first guitar.
S.A. Destroyer (NOCTURNAL BREED): Quorthon has been like a good travel companion through the last three decades. He is, by far, one of the ultimate legends of Metal, if you ask me. His tenacity about staying on his chosen path, regardless of what the media and other musicians might think, is just straight forth, god damn inspiring in so many ways. I remember a friend of mine hated Bathory so much and I wondered why. I sat down and went through the Bathory albums and my jaw just dropped to the floor. I only had the "First Golden Four" to listen to, and two of them were on a worn out cassette. I recall not understanding why my buddy didn't like this awe-inspiring music that leapt out of the speakers and grabbed a hold of you like nothing else I've ever felt. After having played Bathory for a bunch of people I quickly realized that, since none of them liked it, this was a club reserved for the especially interested and invited. It must be said that, at that time, I hung out with people mostly into Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. To me, it seemed like this music was just too dark and real for them to grasp. It felt fucking awesome to feel like you had a gem all to yourself. I spent so many hours on my acoustic guitar, playing to my Bathory albums. I had already reveled in the Celtic Frost and Venom albums for years, but Bathory created its own atmosphere, unlike anything else. I know Quorthon wasn't too happy being constantly compared to Celtic Frost and Venom. Quorthon might come through as an egocentric winder some times, but I think that, to him, his music was more heartfelt and real. He didn't really want to be compared to other bands like Venom, who had a more "circus-like" approach to the whole "Black Metal" thing, even though the term hadn't been coined yet. I think Quorthon preferred the comparison to a black version of Motörhead better. That integrity, to stand up for what you believe in and just do your thing shows in his work and that attitude really inspired me to the bone. Don't get me wrong; I love Venom and Celtic Frost like my own children, too. But Bathory just has that special edge for me. I'm sure some of it is due to the Scandinavian theme that came along after Under the Sign... as well. From Blood, Fire, Death and on Quorthon's music feels almost like a national treasure, and though Swedish, he feels just as home in Norway and for all us up here in the north. When you put on his music, especially out in nature up here, it is like tapping into the mother-core of who, why and what we are. Its pure north in its origin and no one before or after has been close to stirring up the pride in our heritage like Quorthon did. His work is just mind-blowingly good, and is the closest ever to reflecting the true spirit of the Northern ways. And in all honesty, I don't think the Black Metal scene, that he have birth to almost single-handedly, would exist at all, or at least not in the way we see it today, had he not been there to show all of us how to do it with conviction.
As for the first three albums, nothing has inspired me like they have, when it comes to blackened music. When you sit alone for years climpering on your guitar, wondering what the fuck to do with all this inspiration, but not really knowing where and into what to put it, Quorthon is the best companion with whom to walk the crooked paths. He was a one-man train of inspiration, even though he had other musicians with him. It was really only Quorthon you saw when you looked at Bathory. And personally, he held a torch to ligh the path into the Black Metal scene and the bands I've played with...
Rick Cortez (SADISTIC INTENT): Before Sadistic Intent was even an idea, I was already a fan of Bathory, having discovered them on a compilation album, because they were one of the darkest and most extreme Metal bands. By the time Sadistic Intent came to be, Bathory was still one of our favorite bands and certainly one of the most unholy, at the time.
Henri Urponpoika Sorvali (MOONSORROW): At the time I decided that music would be my path of life and enlightenment, Quorthon was, unfortunately, an unknown entity. Years later, when I discovered the masterful works of Bathory, the influence was enormous, both musically and spiritually.
Jørn Inge Tunsberg (HADES ALMIGHTY): Bathory played a big role in the beginning of my musical career, and still does. The first Bathory album I heard was Under the Sign of the Black Mark, and I had never heard anything like that back then. I was blown away of the dark, cold, evil atmosphere. I was stunned and fascinated by the songs, vocals, guitars. Everything was just fucking perfect!! A NEW ERA BEGAN...!!
Johnny Nuclear Winter (AXEGRESSOR): I don't think Bathory/Quorthon played much of a role in my early days as a vocalist. However, when I first heard the screams on Under the Sign of the Black Mark, I thought nothing could be more diabolical and evil. In my youth, Bathory was one of the most extreme Metal bands I could imagine and made me crave for more.
Martin Schulman (DEMONICAL): The early Bathory albums were something I listened to during the late 80's but I can't really say they played some special role for me back then, though I thought the releases were great, of course.
Nornagest (ENTHRONED): Bathory always had a special impact on me that other bands never had. Quorthon, although not the best singer, managed to give me shivers up and down my spine, whether it was during the Black Metal period or the more epic side of Bathory. He gave so much emotion and strength, his guitar style was a major influence on my way to approach the composition process and even vocally. I don't know how to describe it best; just to say that Quorthon/Bathory was certainly one of my two major influences.
Ashmedi (MELECHESH): Personally, I was already a musician but The Return... album played a big role in the formation of Melechesh. We were at a friend's house and everyone started playing billiards or snooker, I don't recall, and I wanted to hear music instead. This friend had a good LP collection and when I saw The Return..., which I had not heard previously, I played it and it gave me the same goose bumps I'd previously gotten from the first time I heard Heavy Metal, Thrash or even Punk. It was all of the above, but with a dark, crude, DIY vibe. I said I wanted to make something with such moods but adding mid-eastern drum patterns.
Erik (WATAIN): I was obsessed at quite an early age with the mystery and secrecy surrounding Quorthon's legacy. In the few interviews that were available (this was before the internet, obviously) he always underlined the importance of putting the focus on Bathory instead of himself, as an individual. Such an ego-less approach towards art, especially in the music scene, is quite rare, and most often a sign of true quality. In Bathory's case it was crucial to establish the cult phenomena that it rightfully became.
Pino Hecker (WITCHBURNER): When I got infected by the cult of Heavy Metal I soon made my first attempts at being a musician in several bands/projects. At that time, I hadn't heard the music of Bathory. It took a few years until I discovered Bathory.
Morion (INFERNO): For me personally, Bathory and Thomas Börje Forsberg, together with Venom, were the pioneers of early Black Metal. I credit Bathory with the creation of both Black and Viking Metal and consider albums such as The Return... and Under the Sign of the Black Mark as some of the greatest albums ever recorded in Black Metal's sub-culture. Songs like "Sacrifice" or "The Return of Darkness and Evil," just to name a couple, are just incredible for their feeling and peculiarity. I remember quite well how I lapped up these albums and being completely awestruck.
Ivar Bjørnson (ENSLAVED): Oh man, his role simply can't be overstated. I was already playing guitar and had been in several small projects before Enslaved; I started at a very young age. I guess I heard Bathory for the first time around 90-91; I heard snippets from Under the Sign of the Black Mark at friend's places (particularly Grutle; he was a few years older and already a Bathory alumni, so to speak). However, the big life-changer was buying Hammerheart with my own money back in the day. That's where Enslaved's direction was cemented eternally. That goes for the philosophical approach to northern mythology, music, lyrics, concept and aesthetics. So, together with maybe two or three songwriters and guitarists, Quorthon was my main source of inspiration; and still is to this day.
Necro (PEST): A lot, of course!!!
Ian Lemke (BLACKRAT): Bathory has been the single most influential band for me and the reason I first started listening to Black Metal in the first place. Compared to second-wave bands and especially modern BM, Quorthon always injected an element of pure Rock 'n' Roll into his music that, to me, is the difference between good, infectious music and boring, plastic Metal. The rawness of Bathory's production, although a result of his budget limitations, influenced the Black Metal sound to this day! In addition, and as a guitar player, the simplicity but pure badassness of Quorthon's riffs inspired me to write my own material, because the riffs and leads weren't too complicated to emulate, but just sound so fucking cool!
Rob Lizarraga (INFINITUM OBSCURE): I grew up with Heavy Metal, old Thrash Metal and Hard Rock as a kid, which was the reason I picked up the guitar when I was 10 or 11. During the early 90's, when I got into Bathory, the Heavy Metal feeling and Black Metal atmosphere in Quorthon's compositions hooked me to his work. My first experience with Bathory was Under the Sign of the Black Mark and from there I explored the first two albums and, since hearing Under the sign... , I was aware that Quorthon was working on something very strong. When I got to the Twilight of the Gods/Hammerheart era, it really just blew my mind. I discovered a completely different way of approaching atmosphere within heaviness, so it definitely had an influence on me during those formative years in my time.
Sakis Tolis (ROTTING CHRIST): This is one of the few reasons behind why I play Black Metal!
V'gandr (HELHEIM): Well, I started playing before I'd heard of Bathory, but when I became aware of his work I was immediately sold and, after that, he has been my only source of inspiration, actually.
Ares (AETERNUS): None, but later on, when I heard his music, I was very impressed and his music surely inspired me. Not a lot but, to a certain degree, it did.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): Well, I wanted to write and play music way before I discovered Bathory, but the band definitely played a significant role in my "schooling" in extreme Metal back in the 80's.
Drakhen (BLOODSHED WALHALLA): Bloodshed Walhalla was born in 2006 as a Bathory cover band, so you can well imagine the role that this Swedish band had on me, and my musical life. Quorthon and Bathory have been and will be the primary source of inspiration in our sound.
Dana Duffey (DEMONIC CHRIST): I had not yet heard the mighty Bathory when I began playing in 1987 at 14 years of age. It would be two more years until I discovered Under the Sign of the Black Mark at a local record shop while purchasing Venom's At War with Satan. This was a very influential album for me. I had the cassette version! The rawness, the darkness and the satanic overtones all inspired me! It definitely motivated me to create music and directly influenced me as a musician!
Mats (EREB ALTOR): I had already formed a doom metal band named Forlorn (later Isole) when I had my first encounter with the legendary Bathory, but it sure changed my world. The first time I ever heard Bathory was when Hammerheart came out and I still remember clearly when I heard "Shores in Flames"; I was taken by surprise how someone could capture the very essence and spirit of Viking Metal and I could feel the Dragon ship rocking in the mighty waves of the ocean. PURE MAGIC!
Rick Scythe (SCYTHE): I was really getting into underground Thrash/Speed Metal around 1985. I was just trying to discover the fastest and most extreme bands and whether it was Black Metal, Speed Metal, Hardcore or Thrash Metal, it didn't really matter to me. Both myself and General (Diabolical Slaughter, original vocalist of Usurper), were spending whatever money we had on going to the local record store or record conventions. We were trying to find bands that were faster than Slayer (which always seemed to be a benchmark in those days).
I remember picking up fanzines and European Metal magazines at these conventions and reading about various underground bands. I think I read in Kerrang or Aardschok or some glossy mag (I can't recall) and also a fanzine from Norway called Morbid Magazine, by Ronnie Eide, about this band named Bathory. The picture of Quorthon looked completely crazy! He was on some big pentagram with black hair and it was kind of blurry; it just seemed like it was one step beyond what even Venom were doing. The write-ups made Bathory seem completely serious and evil, like it wasn't just some gimmick. It really seemed like this was dangerous music, which of course made the band more intriguing.
Then when I actually listened to the first album and The Return... and I remember just being blown away! This band was the real deal! Plus, Bathory was very mysterious. I remember wondering who was in the band. What did they really look like? Was it just this guy Quorthon? Who was "The Boss"? The mystique added to the dark feeling of the band. The riffs and vocals were over the top and very raw, yet still very headbangable and easy to sing a long to. I have been a fan since then.
Beleth (NOCTEM): I started listening Bathory when I was 16-years-old. I remember when I heard Bathory for the first time, I was like "wow, this band appeared on the Scandinavian Metal Attack compilation album the year I was born and sounds more fucking brutal than any music nowadays!" A couple of years later, I considered Bathory one of my favorite bands.
Luxi: How significant and important are Quorthon's works to your career as a musician, as well as to your band(s)?
Chuck (ARES KINGDOM): Vital. His songwriting and lead style had a profound effect on me, even after I had found my own voice, so to speak. I always loved his lyrical style, as well.
Nuclear Holocausto (BEHERIT): Bathory had a huge influence on Beherit's Drawing Down the Moon album, especially in creating the atmosphere.
S.A. Destroyer (NOCTURNAL BREED): Quorthon meant a lot to all of us in the Black Metal scene in those early days, and still does. He showed us all how to blend the inspirations from other black music into a spear point of Black Metal. In a way, he spurred us all on by paving a much more darkened and introverted path in the music business. As I see it, this path was filled with the up and coming first waves of the Black Metal scene. When I played in Gehenna, we were very inspired by the First 4 Bathory albums, above all others, and we listened to this stuff endlessly. I was spending a lot of time alone in the forest at this point of my life and, with Bathory on my cassette Walkman, it made for magical feelings and deep thoughts as to why and how I wanted my music career to be. The spirit of "Do It Yourself" was very much a mantra for us in Gehenna, as we didn't really care what other bands were doing and stuck to our convictions and belief in our own work. And later, when I joined Satyricon, that same root was deeply embedded there as well. Frost and I listened to the old Bathory stuff thousands of times and discussing the essence of the music and integrity of it etc. And I also remember Nocturno Culto (then Kveldulv) had a complete hookup on the bass sound on The Return... album and it was the best bass sound ever. In fact, as we were rehearsing the Nemesis Divina album, Satyr hooked up with Quorthon to try to get him to do some guest appearance on that album. But, for some reason unknown to me, it never happened, which is too bad! I remember having a hushed talk with Dolgar from Gehenna about this. And as he said, "I'm not sure I really want to meet Quorthon. What if he turns out to be a fucking dickhead." That would truly ruin one of our most influential inspirations of all time. And I guess there's something to that and I think it says a lot for the quality and importance of Quorthon's music for us all. I spent some time in Aeturnus while getting Nocturnal Breed on foot. I joined them mostly because I think their first EP has some of the best Bathory qualities it in the Black Metal scene. It was a pleasure to play that music with them.
Then I was off to do Nocturnal Breed and, personally, I must say that Bathory was the main inspiration for tracks like "Possessed" and especially "Armageddon Nights." Even my stage clothes and appearance in Nocturnal Breed is inspired by Quorthon. I love them bones and leather, he-he!! ;) As for music I play that is the most inspired by Bathory, I must say that my solo project Svartalv falls closest to the tree. It is much more atmospheric and ambient, but is totally inspired and influenced by the feelings Quorthon inspired in me many years ago.
Rick (SADISTIC INTENT): One thing a lot of people may be surprised with nowadays is that Quorthon stated in an interview back in the mid 80's that Bathory was a "Death Metal" band! With that in mind, when I think of the early Bathory era, I still make that connection to old school Death Metal and that is significant to Sadistic Intent, Death Metal darkness...
Henri (MOONSORROW): As a musician, I'm very influenced by the way he used sound effects and powerful stories to blend with the dramatic music in order to paint pictures for the listener. When it comes to my bands in particular, I believe that no one who has heard Moonsorrow can deny the obvious influences of Bathory in our music. Without Bathory, Moonsorrow would have never sounded "as is".
Jørn (HADES ALMIGHTY): Quorthon's work throughout the years means a lot for Hades! In fact, I picked the name "Hades" from Bathory's first song on their first album. Hades' music is inspired by both Quorthon's early days as well as his recent works. I can promise you that, if Bathory never existed, Hades' music would have been very, very different. I honestly believe that all of Black Metal would have been totally different, too.
Johnny Nuclear Winter (AXEGRESSOR): When I was a member of Hellbox, we played a Bathory tribute show concentrating on the first three albums (Moonsorrow played the Viking songs that night). That's probably the only direct connection to Quorthon's works when it comes to the musical expression and direction of the bands I've been involved with.
Personally, at first, I first found it irritating when Bathory released the Hammerheart album and suddenly Quorthon sang only with clean (or, well, "clear") vocals. At that time the only acceptable vocal styles for my teenage ears were screams, grunts and growls, he-he...
Yet nowadays I consider this particular album one of the most important cornerstones of my personal Metal career, even above such classics like Reign in Blood, Master of Puppets or Altars of Madness. Hammerheart opened many emotional gates for me.
Martin (DEMONICAL): I started to play in my first real band, Centinex, in the very early 90's and back then I was more into Swedish Death Metal so musically Bathory didn't maybe inspire me that much except of course for the rawness of the music which had some impact on me.
It wasn't until 1992-1993 when I "discovered" Bathory again, when their Jubileum discs were released, and I went back and listened to their early releases again and realized how epic and monumental they actually were, especially Under the Sign of the Black Mark, which has since become one of my favorite albums.
Nornagest (ENTHRONED): It is simple; without Bathory, Enthroned would absolutely not sound the same. Without Bathory, in fact, 99% of today's BM bands would sound the same. The weird thing with Bathory is that, you have a lot of similarities with Manowar, especially during the epic period, but I hate Manowar, lol. I love Bathory; that guy knew how to express his feelings better than most musicians and this had a profound impact on me as a musician.
Ashmedi (MELECHESH): Well, as I mentioned, The Return... made me start Melechesh. He did not play brilliantly, nor did I. It was about the feeling.
Erik (WATAIN): Bathory has been one of the most frequent points of inspirational reference for us, both in terms of music, as well as the uncompromising approach to their work. Besides being a completely unique sounding band, the way they always seem to work in the shadows, pursuing a path tread by no other band, has been a huge inspiration for Watain.
Pino (WITCHBURNER): Although we all hail the music of Bathory it has never been a main influence for Witchburner. Our music is more influenced by other hordes. But every style of extreme Metal is undeniable connected to the work of Bathory, may it be direct or indirect!
Morion (INFERNO): It is obvious from the previous answer that I prefer the earlier works which were rooted in a more classic sound of Black Metal. The later epic works did not impress me much though they are definitely monumental, majestic and of a high quality. From the later works I could highlight the Blood on Ice album, which I consider to be the best from that era. At that time, it was my favorite record for relaxation and long evenings. But even these later creations had an immense and indisputable influence on formation of newer bands and heading of musicians worldwide.
Grutle (ENSLAVED): For me personally, and most likely for Ivar too, Bathory was the first really important extreme Metal band I got really into. I had some of Venom's records and was familiar with the German Thrash Metal scene, but Bathory really made the change for me. I first got into Bathory when Under the Sign of the Black Mark was released in 1987. I was on holiday in the old Yugoslavia, and met this German Metalhead who had just purchased this album and copied it onto a cassette, and brought his Walkman to the beach. Me and my friend got to talk about Metal with this guy, and suddenly he just burst out: "Guys, you have to listen to the new Bathory album here, put the headphones on!" I seem to remember that my friend got a little shocked, but I loved it straight away! The first thing I did when I returned home was to order that album from the nearest record store. As you can imagine, this was not normal to have in stock in a mainstream record store, not even in the 80´s! Anyway, this album was like nothing I had ever heard before, and made a huge impact on me. It really moved me in the direction of starting an extreme Metal act myself.
All of Quorthon's albums may not have had as big an influence as Under the Sign..., and not all of his work has been as appreciated as this one, but that really didn't seem to affect Quorthon at all, he just continued making albums the way he wanted. And that is a very crucial aspect when we are talking about his significance; he made music for himself, from his heart, and not to suit any audience! Quorthon made real honest music. We are greatly inspired by that way to approaching the art of making music, and owe Quorthon a lot for that.
Necro (PEST): The first four records will always be very important to me. We dedicated our second full-length LP to the memory of Quorthon because of his/Bathory's importance to Pest.
Ian (BLACKRAT): To me, the first 3 Bathory releases are really all you need. The self-titled is an obvious favorite, although The Return... and Under the Sign... are both classics as well. Obviously, there are great tracks from all his albums but those are the ones that have influenced me the most in terms of my own songwriting. I've never been a fan of Viking Metal, but Quorthon did it in a way that I can still appreciate, and Blood Fire Death is an awesome release for how it combined the Viking aesthetic with the blackened vibe of the early stuff. I even have a strange liking for Requiem, an often-criticized album. Quorthon's take on Thrash Metal is truly unique. For my own band, Blackrat, the first three albums are the only releases that have a direct influence, especially the self-titled debut. But the influence is very significant, and probably quite apparent when listing to our material.
Rob (INFINITUM OBSCURE): Very important! As I was mentioning before, I think Quorthon paved a new and unexplored path by balancing a very dark and soothing atmosphere with a level of heaviness that resulted in the base of what I have been playing now for over 20 years so it had a huge significance on me, personally.
Sakis (ROTTING CHRIST): As a musician I feel that Quorthon (especially his first creations) showed and taught me how to walk on the left hand path. This is so important for a musician that comes from this particular genre.
V'gandr (HELHEIM): I owe him a lot! Though I won't say that you can trace Bathory in Helheim's music, it still stands out as an inspiration, especially on our later albums, like the Asgard's Fall EP, where it's more traceable.
Ares (AETERNUS): Not very important or more than other bands. Though he was a fantastic musician; a rare and unique one for sure.
Lasse (HOODED MENACE): Quite important as it's one of the bands I grew up with and learned my tricks and licks from. Bathory has been more or less an inspiration to me since I heard "Of Doom..." from the Speed Kills compilation LP back in the day. It was so gloomy and insane, I wanted to hear more. It definitely shaped my own songwriting in a darker direction. Quorthon's early works, from the debut album up to Blood Fire Death, are important to me. I've always been fascinated by the mystique surrounding the band. That was inspiring too. Usually the bands you grew up with tend stay with you till the very end. Maybe to some, it becomes merely sweet and nostalgic, but to others, like myself, it's an eternal inspiration and still relevant.
Drakhen (BLOODSHED WALHALLA): Quorthon was the master and creator of Viking Metal. We are all his disciples and we will try to continue to live his ideas. The enterprise is difficult, but at the same time fascinating. When we write music, we try to put ourselves in his way of thinking; we try to put ourselves into his boots as the creator and composer of music. We are very proud of this and, whether or not we are innovative, we play what we love, and I believe we will continue travelling down this road for a long time.
Dana Duffey (DEMONIC CHRIST): Quorthon's music was definitely a significant inspiration for my writing. I was more inspired by his early works; however, I think all of his releases offered something inspirational to me on a personal level. It wasn't until a little later that I could appreciate his Viking Metal era records, but they have become some of my most favorite releases in the history of music itself. Quorthon's riffs spoke to me, sometimes subtly, lingering in the back of my mind. Therefore, I do think certain small aspects may have crept into my writing. I do not think anything I have written sounds similar to Bathory, however the influence is still there.
Mats (EREB ALTOR): To me, it was very important because Ereb Altor would never have existed without the mighty Quorthon's work. I think Bathory has a huge impact on the metal scene and could easily be compared to pioneers like Black Sabbath. He actually created not one, but two genres within extreme Metal, in my opinion. Not many men, living or dead, can say that they have done that.
Rick (SCYTHE): When Usurper formed in the early 90's we always cited Celtic Frost, Venom and Bathory as influences. We started out wanting to create music that had that heavy handed approach of Celtic Frost with the attack and sheer force of Venom and some of the chaotic, raw elements of the early Bathory albums. I liked how the early Bathory was raw and chaotic yet the songs always had a Metal backbone.
Even visually, if you look at the first Usurper demo cassette, Visions from the Gods, and the first album Diabolosis, the photos, layout and design were influenced by Bathory a bit. We wanted to add some mystery to the band. Our band photos were always grainy and our faces were always covered by our hair. We used witches runes for our names, we didn't include lyrics and we made sure the layout looked grainy and old...
Beleth (NOCTEM): Bathory, or Quorthon, has undoubtedly had an enormous influence on all of today's Black and Death Metal bands. Sometimes I have heard people saying "I really don't like Bathory..." Okay, that's completely fine, but you have to know that if you play extreme Metal, in one way or the other you are at least slightly influenced by Bathory. Bathory are, without a doubt, one of the most important bands of the whole Scandinavian Metal scene ever.
Luxi: If you ever had the chance to talk to Quorthon, either face-to-face or just via email, what kind of image has he left for you? If you never had the change to meet him, what would have say if you had a chance to meet him face to face?
Chuck (ARES KINGDOM): I always knew the two of us had a deep, enduring and trusting connection, but it wasn't until after his death, when his father contacted me about working on the In Memory of Quorthon box set, that I realized its true depth. Though Boss and I never had contact before, he assured me, very matter-of-factly, that he knew exactly who I and my family were because Ace talked about us so often. That was an emotional moment.
What kind of a person was he? A genuine, warm man of remarkable intelligence and immense energy. And another thing, he cared deeply about his fans, and devoted a ridiculous amount of time to personally communicating with them.
Nuclear Holocausto (BEHERIT): I was not fortunate enough to speak with him. I often wondered if he ever heard of my band Beherit, though...
S.A. Destroyer (NOCTURNAL BREED): I never had the honor of talking to him, but I know from Satyr that he seemed like a very cool and straightforward guy. And if I met him I don't think I would go for the obvious "Oh maaaan I loooove your music..." I'm sure he'd heard all that so many times before. I would have liked to sit down and have a talk to him about our mutual Norse heritage and what this means to the music we make and the lives we live.
Rick (SADISTIC INTENT): Well, I would have to be in the moment to know what would transpire at such a meeting but I would imagine I'd bring up the early releases that, for me, are my favorites from Bathory...
Henri (MOONSORROW): Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet nor exchange any words with Quorthon. Nevertheless, I believe that he wished to keep his music and thoughts private as they were so personal. If I had a chance to ask him a single question, it would be about his influences, especially the things outside Metal music.
Jørn (HADES ALMIGHTY): In my opinion, Quorthon seemed like a very creative man and a really intelligent artist. He was a true leader in his way of thinking and writing music. I would like to ask him why and how he managed to create at least four different quality definitions of METAL all fucking alone. He is the only artist that made a revolution within Metal four fucking times during his life. That is what I call DIVINE!
Johnny Nuclear Winter (AXEGRESSOR): I once did a phone interview with him for Sue magazine, when he was promoting the Destroyer of Worlds album. To be honest I don't remember much from this chat except that Quorthon seemed to be a very relaxed, every-day type of guy with lots of thoughts to share.
Martin (DEMONICAL): I never spoke to him personally but the impression I got, through interviews and also from people that spoke with him, was that Quorthon seemed to be a very special person with a clear artistic vision and high integrity but at the same time a friendly and genuine individual.
Nornagest (ENTHRONED): Certainly not! I'm not that kind of person, plus I heard from people who met him that he was a total ass, but was he? I don't know, I never met him nor talked to him so I cannot judge. One can have a specific opinion of someone and someone else, a completely different one. All I know is that when Quorthon died, he was the only person I had never met, that I paid tribute to and whose death affected me to the point where I lit 13 candles and played his music for a week.
Ashmedi (MELECHESH): I often try NOT to meet musicians I like, unless we end up sitting together in a festival or such. Don't ask, it's just me. Also, I think a lot of people now might think Quorthon was like a king who calculated his next conquests. Naturally, the mystique and his contributions and innovations might lead people to think so. I think he was just a very enthusiastic and determined young boy who mixed Motörhead, NWOBHM, Venom and, due to low budgets, sang nastily and accidentally invented the archetypical Black Metal vocal sound. Maybe he wanted to sound like Lemmy but was too young, I don't know. Bathroom tiles helped the cheap reverb ;) Later on he improved and ventured into different areas. In hindsight, maybe later his music was influenced by Metallica (Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, blended with Manowar's epicness) with clean vocals, great choirs and Viking myths. I don't know, just hindsight, because you also hear more modern influences. He was an artist and he was influenced by his musical surroundings, it seems.
Erik (WATAIN): I never got the chance to communicate with Quorthon in any way. Although we lived in the same city for many years he was never the kind of person that would turn up at shows or places where you would perhaps expect to see him. Even the people from the older part of the Stockholm scene have told me they rarely saw him back in the day. So although I would surely have liked to, meeting Quorthon was never something I ever expected to do. I did however have the chance to get to know some of his family at the Bathory tribute show we did in 2010. They are very special people, whose stories and characteristics have imbued my approach towards Bathory with even more reverence.
Pino (WITCHBURNER): None of us ever talked to him or met him in person.
Morion (INFERNO): I never had a chance to meet Quorthon and if I did I would certainly let the discussion to flow freely and casually. That's usually the best when people meet for the first time.
Ivar (ENSLAVED): I never did talk to him and, as he was a very private person, I guess I would have had to be quite lucky to bump into him, he-he!! I read whatever I can come across and, just recently, I found a remarkably good chapter on Quorthon and Bathory in Dayal Patterson's brilliant new book Black Metal – Evolution of the Cult.
If I HAD ever met him, I most certainly would NOT "tell him" anything. I would use my ears to listen. If there was room, and he was interested, I would ask him some questions, but what point would it be for me to tell him stuff, ha-ha!! It's like this story I heard about this drummer in a US band that just recently met Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin (who was there to see the main band). He was very nice and all, but this drummer idiot spent an hour talking about his own band and his own ideas about music so eventually Page just left, quite bored. So nobody knew any more than before meeting Jimmy Page. I think Quorthon would agree with me that modern man really should heed Oden's advice from "Haavamaal" to listen more and speak less.
Necro (PEST): Never met him. I met Cronos once backstage when Venom was playing with Nifelheim here in Stockholm. I shook his hand and said "hello dad". That was all that needed to be said. So I guess I would have said something similar to Quorthon, had I gotten the opportunity.
Ian (BLACKRAT): I never had the honor of meeting or talking to Quorthon, and I have no idea what I would say to him if I did. I would probably fan out on him like a little schoolgirl. There is something to be said about his posthumous influence though; his death has certainly added to the legend. Although it's a true shame that he can no longer create music, or appreciate the power and reach of his legacy, he also cannot fall victim to the over-corporate modern Metal scene. His image will forever remain as pure as the music he invented.
Rob (INFINITUM OBSCURE): I never had a chance to meet him nor would I have been close to doing so but, if I did, first, I would ask him to sign my Bathory vinyls and, second, I would ask him about his guitar tunings on different albums and stuff like that, which, to me, was a big part of the Bathory sound. A lot of the chords he uses are tricky if you don't properly figure out the tuning, but once you do, everything comes together magically and that's exactly the beauty of creativity.
Sakis (ROTTING CHRIST): Thanks for "Enter the Eternal Fire"!
V'gandr (HELHEIM): Never met nor emailed with the guy and never thought of what to say. I guess I'd have said: "Hi, what's up?" Ha-ha-ha...!!
Ares (AETERNUS): No I never met him. If I did? I don't know. I would probably ask him if he wanted to grab a beer and talk shit and music?!
Lasse (HOODED MENACE): I never talked to him. I'm not very good at meeting the people I look up to, nor do I think it's necessary to meet them, but, if I didn't get shy and run away, I guess I'd just shake his hand and say "thanks".
Drakhen (BLOODSHED WALHALLA): I never had the opportunity to know or write directly to Quorthon, but I would have liked to and I'm sure that, if he was still alive, I would not let the opportunity slip. I've always wanted to play Viking Metal and I think he would have appreciated our efforts in Bloodshed Valhalla, ha-ha!! So, from the far south of Italy, I would gladly travel to Stockholm to be able to exchange some thoughts with him, and learn a little about the Norse myths.
Dana Duffey (DEMONIC CHRIST): Unfortunately I never had that opportunity. If I had, I most likely would have loved to sit with him and have a very normal discussion about everything, from one end of the spectrum to the other! I am not sure there would be a whole lot I would want to tell him, more likely I would want to just listen to him, to get inside his head and hear his thoughts, see his emotions and try to understand him on a personal level. One thing I would share with him is that I feel it was not his music itself that TRULY inspired me. What truly inspired me were his passion and his ability to transform raw emotion into music. This is the ultimate musician in my eyes. Looking back, he pioneered two sub-genres of music and even went beyond that and experimented with other genres. This means he just wrote what he wanted and what felt natural, which is sort of a lost art. Perhaps he wanted to challenge himself, which is yet another admirable quality! His passion is what inspired me, and that is what I look for in musicians/bands today. If I don't feel passion when I hear or see a band, if it's not believable, it does nothing for me. Quorthon set that standard for me at an early age and I will uphold that ideal until my time for creating in this realm is complete. It's forever a reminder to only write music with passion. Music without passion is like coffee without caffeine. Pointless.
Mats (EREB ALTOR): Thank you Quorthon, you made my life complete. I wish you would consider doing a grandiose live performance; I would give anything to see you on stage!
Rick (SCYTHE): I never met Quorthon or corresponded with him in any way. I am kind of glad about that too. I don't want to know what he was like as a "regular guy". I like the mystique of Bathory, those old albums were the exact opposite of the friendly days of social media we live in today. Could you imagine Quorthon posting a picture online of what he ate for dinner with some cute caption, or inviting you to play some pig farmer game on Facebook? No fucking way! Quorthon's mysteriousness seemed to make that band untouchable and distant. It is hard to imagine Quorthon/Bathory existing in the same world as us mortals.
Beleth (NOCTEM): Surely I would tell him he is an incredible example of an artist and musician and his works will live in all our minds and hearts forever.
Luxi: BATHORY started out as a Black Metal band but, later on, evolved and created something that is called Viking Metal nowadays. Which album do you consider BATHORY's best from the Black Metal era? What about BATHORY's best recording from the Viking Metal era? Why?
Chuck (ARES KINGDOM): Oh, I don't give a shit about separating albums into genre any more than he did. Each album is special to me, but I will say Blood, Fire, Death and Twilight of the Gods are desert island albums for me. I also love his solo albums for the glimpse they offer into other parts of his personality.
Nuclear Holocausto (BEHERIT): Blood Fire Death from the Viking Metal era. I remember I used to play and rewind the "One Rode to Asa Bay" music video on VHS all the time.
S.A. Destroyer (NOCTURNAL BREED): Oh man it's a bit hard, because there are just so god damn many good albums and songs. But I'm a sucker for the old demo material, to be honest. It's that raw fucking feeling through and through on those tracks. But if I have to choose an album from the Black Metal days, it must be Under the Sign... but the first two albums come damn close. They all (including the demos) carry a feeling of foreboding Black so many years before the rest of the world caught on to this aspect of music.
As for the Viking albums, I see them as 2 1/2 albums, in a way. Blood, Fire, Death has some truly striking Black Metal trademarks that make the album more vicious than the next two. Thus, it's my favorite from the "Viking" era. But fuck me sideways; Hammerheart and Twilight... take me to a historical place where I can feel my ancestor's roots that, in a way, stand out as the most "Viking" albums ever recorded! So it's a bit hard to choose between these monster masterpieces.
Rick (SADISTIC INTENT): It's really difficult for me just to pick my one favorite because the first four albums all kick ass in their own ways! The songs and the atmosphere of those albums conjure the occult forces, forever desecrating all that is sacred and divine!
Henri (MOONSORROW): From the Black Metal era, my absolute favorite is Under the Sign of the Black Mark. With songs as powerful and archaic as "Equimanthorn" and "Enter the Eternal Fire," there's no choice here, he-he!! When it comes to the Viking era, I find Hammerheart the best, with its deep and authentic aura surrounding the whole package from the lyrics to art and back. Hammerheart is the pure epitome of Viking Metal for me.
Jørn (HADES ALMIGHTY): It differs from time to time, and it's sometimes hard to find a favorite among his music. But The Return... is one of my all time favorite albums within the whole Black Metal genre.
When it comes to his Viking era, I must say that Hammerheart still gives me the chills. The reason, I guess, is the expectations I had when I heard those albums were quite high and they fucking payed off!
With those albums, I believe he did something no one else was capable of doing back then. Even today, those albums can't be done as well.
Johnny Nuclear Winter (AXEGRESSOR): As said before, Hammerheart stands as #1 for me from the Viking era. Twilight of the Gods is easily the second best, a 9.5/10 record for me.
For the Black Metal era, I prefer Under the Sign of the Black Mark, not because it was the first Bathory album I ever heard, but because of its relentless, in-your-face and primitive approach. The debut album and The Return... sound like demos of Under... to me, although they have incredibly strong songs, as well. For some reason, I have always thought Blood Fire Death as a Viking Metal album, although it has strong elements from both styles.
Martin (DEMONICAL): Yes, Bathory had different phases and released some outstanding albums containing different types of art, but I really don't put them into different genres or eras. A good album is a good album no matter the style or direction. Anyway, as I said, Under the Sign of the Black Mark is my favorite album and has meant the most to me, followed by the majestic Blood Fire Death.
Nornagest (ENTHRONED): My favorite from the BM era is, without doubt, Under the Sign of the Black Mark; it is a perfect album. For the later period, I can't decide between Blood, Fire, Death or Blood on Ice; both are wonderful and, to be honest, I really don't know where to put Blood, Fire, Death, Black Metal or Viking Metal. These records are on the top for me but, with the exception of Requiem and Octagon, all the albums are milestones for me!
Ashmedi (MELECHESH): For the first era, The Return... seems the best. The first album also kicked ass and was raw and vicious but The Return... was darker. Under the Sign of the Black Mark refined his Black Metal sound and is a natural milestone to the other style. I like Twilight of the Gods a lot but Hammerheart is better produced. We started off raw Black Metal, undisciplined and with low budgets, and we added this mid east patterns and some lyrics. Later, we started exploring that to make our own musical style, which we call Mesopotamian Metal. We were treading uncharted territory in Jerusalem, and the mid east in general, inventing new sounds. I see parallels, different circumstances and time lines.
Erik (WATAIN): I have a very hard time picking a favorite Bathory album, as they are all unique and life-altering experiences on their own. My interest in Bathory's discography goes as far as Twilight of the Gods, which I consider to be the pinnacle of the Bathory legacy, while our drummer is very much into the albums after that, as well. I personally have no interest at all in "Viking Metal"; to me that's music with people who drink beer from horns and wear funny hats as festivals, very far from where I stand in life. And while Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods might be said to have influenced some of that circus-music, I personally regard them as albums transcending genre distinctions. They are two albums that stand alone in music history, as far as I'm concerned, imbued with a melancholic, Nordic nerve that just cannot be faked or forced.
Pino (WITCHBURNER): I like the Black Metal records very much, yet it is the epic Viking phase of Bathory that I love. I'm not able to decide which albums from both eras are the best, but Hammerheart is, in a way, special for me. Around the time when I bought that album, I was almost exclusively listening and searching for fast bands, mostly Death and Thrash Metal. I already knew that this album contained slower music, slower than the stuff I was usually looking for. But the powerful cover art and the mighty album title, Hammerheart, had such a big impact on me that I decided to buy it. This emotional, powerful style of Metal was something new for me - it impressed me! I realized for the first time how much I enjoy slow, heavy and epic Metal.
Morion (INFERNO): Let me put it like this; from the Black Metal era I consider Under the Sign of Black Mark Bathory's best, and Blood on Ice from the Viking era. If I draw a link between these two then I think that all has been captured on Blood Fire Death, which I consider to be summation of everything Bathory ever did. I do like the impression of the early records; the sound on first two albums is utterly diabolical and it mirrors what happens on the album and I especially appreciate the authenticity of each album. It always has been something unique and interesting, pointing beyond mere music.
Grutle (ENSLAVED): As I mentioned earlier, Under the Sign of the Black Mark is pretty special to me, so that will have to be my favorite from the "dark ages" of Bathory. There are some really good songs on the first one, and on The Return..., like "Hades" and "Sadist," just to mention a few.
From the mythology-oriented period, I have always leaned more towards Twilight of the Gods than Hammerheart or Blood on Ice. They are all great albums with an awesome production (at least it felt like that back then), but again, this is about nostalgia and what things are connected to! I remember that we partied a lot while listening to Twilight of the Gods in '91 and '92 and a lot of memories, both good and bad, are connected to that particular album. It also contains one of my favorite Bathory songs of all time, "Under the Runes". It is truly an album that inspired us both musically and lyrically.
Necro (PEST): As for the Bathory's Black Metal era, the first album and Under the Sign of the Black Mark. Other: Hammerheart.
Ian (BLACKRAT): Like I said before, the first album will always be the greatest to me, just because that was the first Black Metal I ever heard and I felt an instant connection with it. However, The Return... and Black Mark are both equally great and have a depth and nuanced complexity that the first one lacks somewhat. Again, I don't listen to the Viking era stuff nearly as much, so I enjoy it all about the same. If I had to pick an album from that era it would probably be Hammerheart, unless Blood Fire Death counts, then I would choose that one. I love the epicness of Hammerheart, "One Road to Asa Bay" is a great song.
Rob (INFINITUM OBSCURE): For the Black Metal era, I have to say The Return... and for the Viking Metal era I MUST say Twilight of the Gods, DEFINITELY!!
Sakis (ROTTING CHRIST): It seems that Quorthon liked to explore new worlds to feel that he is doing something unique so when he felt that Black Metal was too busy, he invented another way to express himself musically, playing a different kind of Metal that also influenced so many musicians afterwards and was eventually called Viking Metal. I still have more love for his early creations, with Under the Sign of Black Mark being on the top but I cannot say that Blood Fire Death was not equal!
V'gandr (HELHEIM): From the Black Metal era; Under the Sign... Why? It's the ultimate Black Metal album, period. And from the Viking era; Hammerheart, because it just grasps the essence of the Norse so perfectly. I guess if the Vikings would have electric guitars this is how they would sound.
Ares (AETERNUS): Well, all I can say I love the Under the Sign of the Black Mark and Blood on Ice albums the most these days.
Lasse (HOODED MENACE): For Black Metal it's Under the Sign of the Black Mark and for Viking Metal, I'd say Hammerheart, although I'm not as crazy about the Viking stuff unless Blood Fire Death, where he touched it for the first time, counts. Needless to say, I appreciate his pioneering work and ideas but his clean vocal skills were quite limited. I can dig it, but I like the Black Metal era best. Under the Sign... is the one I started with and it has stood the test of time very well. When it comes to Black Metal, I get by with early Bathory and handful of others. I'm not a big Black Metal guy but I'm big on Bathory!
Drakhen (BLOODSHED WALHALLA): The best Thrash and Black Metal-styled Bathory album is Blood Fire Death. It is a masterpiece, both in terms of the ideas and the sound. Blood Fire Death is a truly spectacular mix of unmistakable greatness. With regard to the Viking era, I find Twilight of the Gods extremely fascinating and very complete, as an album. I love that album; it's a masterpiece, and Bloodshed Walhalla is mainly inspired by the kinds of ideas this particular album has.
Dana Duffey (DEMONIC CHRIST): I would have to say Under the Sign of the Black Mark is my favorite album from the Black Metal era. There are many songs on this release that just punch a hole through my chest releasing my soul when I hear them! "Woman of Dark Desires" and "Equimanthorn" are two of my favorite Bathory songs ever! The Viking Era is very easy to say for me as I listen to this album several times a month!; Nordland I!!! This album is just pure beauty and emotion to me. There are many different elements on this opus that work magnificently together. This is my "go to" album when I have deep thinking to do.
Mats (EREB ALTOR): My two favorite Black Metal songs are found on Blood Fire Death so I have to go with this one. The title track and "A Fine Day to Die" unite the harsh and the epic in a perfect way.
My favorite era of Bathory is the Viking era. If I listen to my heart I would say that Hammerheart is the best album since it changed my life and was my first encounter with Quorthon's mighty work.
My brain votes for Twilight of the Gods though since he was perfecting the sound he created on Hammerheart on this one. Somehow, he lost a little bit of the heart and sound on the releases after Twilight of the Gods, though there are still some really good songs on Blood on Ice and the Nordland albums.
Rick (SCYTHE): For me, it always seemed like a natural progression. The first three albums were raw Black Metal, then Blood, Fire, Death came out and the focus shifted a bit towards Viking themes, yet there was still a lot of harsh, raw, violent parts, but also more musical elements too. Hammerheart sort of was the album where Quorthon really moved Bathory to total Viking Metal. I like it all, but I would say Under the Sign of the Black Mark is my favorite from that early Black Metal era. I just think the songs are more evolved than the first two; more headbangable too. As for the "Viking" era, I like Blood on Ice the most. I like how big it sounds; it has atmosphere and still has an edge. The songs have a very dynamic flow; it almost plays out like a movie or something.
Beleth (NOCTEM): I think the Blood Fire Death album is Bathory in full capacity; it's powerful and ambitious and I love it. However, I think the first album that I heard from Bathory, was Hammerheart and I remember listening to that album was a great experience for me.
Luxi: In your opinion, what kind of musical legacy did Quorthon leave for all the future Metal generations? Do you believe the Metal community will remember his works until this world comes to an end?
Chuck (ARES KINGDOM): That's hyperbole he would have rejected, but I will continue to fly his flag; not just because of our brotherhood, but because his music is truly the best of the best. More importantly, I feel he's still here.
Nuclear Holocausto (BEHERIT): New bands will likely not understand the significance of Bathory. I am afraid that it was mostly a privilege for those born in the 70's, but I am happy if more recent generations understand the quality of his compositions.
S.A. Destroyer (NOCTURNAL BREED): I sure hope so! At least as long as the darker forms of Metal endure and, hopefully, beyond that. I think the legacy he left us with is so original and awe-inspiring that the Black Metal scene that came into being in his wake is almost like an homage to him. And if he liked it or not, I don't really care. I'm sure he's sitting up there in Valhalla with Odin by his side, gazing down upon us with pride and raising the horn'keg to the whole Metal scene; true individualists walking in the footprints pioneered by himself and the Norsemen before us!!! So my helmet off eternally, for this giant among giants, that taught us all how to sharpen our swords and to let the gods sort us out when we fall on the battlefield.
Rest in purity and bliss hammerheart, we will never forget and always remember!!
Rick (SADISTIC INTENT): I believe he left a highly prestigious legacy and as long as real Metal lives on, the die-hards of the Metal cult will certainly remember Quorthon's Bathory...
Henri (MOONSORROW): True art and talent will never be forgotten, and I sincerely believe Bathory will always be mentioned in the (Black) Metal community in the years to come. Under the sign of Bathory, Quorthon has managed to single-handedly develop two sound-defining genres by himself, which is quite impressive in itself. Just like I did earlier, and countless people after me will, at some point people will always find the fathers of their favorite music, and as long as Black (and Viking) Metal is created and appreciated, people will continue riding over Nordland with Oden again and again.
May the winds carry our appreciation into Valhalla... Hail Quorthon! Hail Bathory!
Jørn (HADES ALMIGHTY): He left "a black mark" on the rest of the fucking world! His music will forever stand high for the coming generations. And if you don't know your Bathory, you don't know your Black Metal!! HAIL BATHORY!!!
Johnny Nuclear Winter (AXEGRESSOR): As a creator or at least co-founder of not one but TWO different Metal genres, I think Quorthon's legacy will be close to immortal.
Martin (DEMONICAL): Even though Quorthon was well-known and respected during his active years it seems that he got even more respect after his death, a thing that happens with so many musicians and artists, sadly.
Yes, I think Bathory left a big legacy for today's musicians and bands, especially the Nordic ones and those who have been active in the scene since the early 90's. Quorthon was a true visionary and it would have been great to see where he would have taken Bathory if he hadn't have left us. However, his spirit and soul lives on and will do so for years to come.
Nornagest (ENTHRONED): I don't know about that. He was one of the most influential figures in the Metal scene, without a doubt! His legacy lies in all BM bands that were touched, in one way or another, by Quorthon, through a shitload of amazing releases and one of the greatest discographies in this music genre. For my part, I have always said that I want "Song to Hall up High" played at my funeral. These are the last sound waves I want my body to experience before being put six feet under.
Ashmedi (MELECHESH): The legacy is more for the underground Metal generations and I believe he was the king of the underground. All significant music lives on but, naturally, the biggest recognition goes to current trends, but real Metal music lovers will always have a place for Bathory. Music also changes so will there be Metal in 200 years? I am not so sure, maybe in a very limited scene. In 130 years or so none of the current inhabitants of earth will be around and it will be new people, from musicians to factory workers to politicians. Will they be hearing Bathory or Metal? I don't know. The kid in me say "hell yes...!!!" Otherwise, I'm not sure.
Erik (WATAIN): The past few years seem to have brought an increasing interest in Quorthon and Bathory's legacy and I think that is great. I was always amazed, and a little bit annoyed, by the fact that they never got the attention they deserved. To me, Bathory was far more revolutionary and artistically unique than many of their contemporaries. There was something about them that was truly and genuinely diabolical. But, then again, that is perhaps also why they were always destined to stay in the shadows, where the talents of true artists and revolutionaries have always thrived, unaffected by the foul currents of this dying world...
Pino (WITCHBURNER): Quorthon and Bathory will always be remembered. Just look at the high number of cover songs and bands that play music in a similar style. His albums are must-haves and the importance of Bathory is already written down in books. As long as there are dedicated maniacs, the spirit and legacy of Quorthon will live on!
Morion (INFERNO): I think that a certain legacy will always remain and linger like it has for many other bands that started in similar times, regardless of genre. Whether it will be till the end of world, I do not know, but we can hope. Hail Quorthon and Bathory!!
Ivar (ENSLAVED): Yes, the day the Metal community forgets Bathory and Quorthon, it won't be a Metal community anymore. I myself have the Bathory-goat on my arm (I got it when he passed away in 2004), and during the last years more and more young people also got it. When I get really old I will make sure to help spread the word (and maybe force a few people to get the tattoo also, ha-ha!!). If you're into Metal, you MUST listen to Bathory.
Necro (PEST): Yes. He and Bathory will be remembered 'til the end, and rightly so. Hail the hordes...!!
Ian (BLACKRAT): I think in terms of extreme Metal, Bathory's influence cannot be overstated. Quorthon had a hand in creating all forms of extreme Metal and all who appreciate that style of music owe their allegiance to him. I can't speak for the entire Metal community obviously, especially because many modern bands seem to separate themselves from the old gods of Metal, to their detriment, I think. However, I know the bands that I enjoy all show a lot of reverence towards early Black Metal, and all good bands in this vein will continue Quorthon's legacy for as long as this music has an impact in the underground.
Rob (INFINITUM OBSCURE): Well, they'd better remember it; he paved the damn road, he CREATED what a lot us play. I'm not that young anymore; I'm 36 years old, so newer/future generations MUST embrace this path he lit up for us to walk on or they will be missing a lot of music essential to continuing these underground music genres. You CANNOT and MUST NOT ignore the past which preceded what there is today and what there will be tomorrow...
Sakis (ROTTING CHRIST): I don't know about this world but the Metal community seems to pay respect to those that have given their life for our precious music. I have a feeling that the name of Quorthon will stay as long as Metal exists. This is something that we, the elders of the Metal community, need to teach to new generations. And this goes out for not only Quorthon but also other fallen Metal "heroes" that are not with us anymore. Respect is maybe the most important word in this life, and in my opinion we must show it to those that deserve to be respected.
V'gandr (HELHEIM): Hmmm... I know he's left one hell of a legacy, and I do believe he will always be remembered, but it's also up to all of us to never forget and keep on supporting his works. Like with this small feature.
Ares (AETERNUS): As a unique musician, his music will always inspire other bands. And yes, I do think this man will be remembered...always for sure!
Lasse (HOODED MENACE): Well, with a CV like that I'm sure his work will be eternally remembered and cherished. As sure as he's dead, his work continues to amaze and inspire generations to come.
Drakhen (BLOODSHED VALHALLA): After his death, Quorthon left a huge void, and no one, in my opinion, has been able to resume his project with Odin. I am referring to the sound itself, which is somehow rough and dirty, but at the same time never banal but thoroughly fantastic. Even when it was "out of tune", it was a pleasure to listen to his works. Over time, his ideas have been deconstructed and changed too much. A lot of bands say they play Viking Metal, but don't do anything as remarkable as Quorthon. They may play well and be true virtuosos, as musicians, but they don't really understand what makes songs sound great the way like Quorthon made them sound; so awesome and unforgettable. Quorthon put his heart and soul into his music and it's just unfortunate he left this world prematurely. Bloodshed Walhalla is born to keep alive the music of Bathory. While there will never be another Bathory, we try to honor Quorthon's musical legacy the best we can and the fans of Quorthon's works will judge if Bloodshed Walhalla suck at that or not.
Dana Duffey (DEMONIC CHRIST): Bathory is timeless! When Metal was in its glory and everyone was quoting their favorite bands, nearly everyone named Bathory and it was before the age of the internet made music easily available. There were no message boards telling you what was cool or who sold out, etc. You had to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Over the last 20 years or so there have been many bands that cite Bathory as an influence. I think anyone of any age at any time in history that hears Bathory will find some element that resonates with them. I think that younger bands today have influences (bands) that were themselves influenced by Bathory. So I feel it is definitely a generational thing that will continue on forever. Quorthon's legacy will continue on as long as Metal does, which I do believe will be until the end of this world. All hail the Master!!!
Mats (EREB ALTOR): He left a huge legacy and I truly believe and hope that the youngsters of Metal will discover the greatness of Bathory for all eternity. He had a gigantic impact on the Black Metal scene especially in Scandinavia. You can still easily hear the influence of Quorthon in most of the Black Metal from Norway and Sweden.
The Viking scene is also very influenced by his work but it is perhaps not equally obvious as in the Black Metal scene. Personally, I think the Viking bands of today have somewhat moved away from the genre's roots. It's a pity. Ereb Altor will still try to uphold the legacy of the older sound of Viking Metal.
Rick (SCYTHE): Just listen to the 90's Scandinavian Black Metal; to my ears most of those bands sound much more influenced by Bathory than Venom or Hellhammer. Then examine all the current Black Metal bands from around the world who are influenced by the 90's Scandinavian Black Metal, most of the modern/current Black Metal have zero Venom influences at all. So yes future generations of Black Metal will be influenced either directly or indirectly by Bathory. I think it's safe to assume Bathory will live on forever.
Beleth (NOCTEM): First and foremost, Quorthon left us the first stones for the foundation of extreme Metal. Quorthon, and all his great works, will be remembered forever and he will always have a special place in all of our hearts. Quorthon and Bathory have always had a very significant meaning for me and my career as a musician.
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